Perhaps it is cheating to make the man wearing number one this season one of the most important players for the Gators in 2023, but Princely Umanmielen is going to have a massive role in the success or failure of Florida football this year.
Umanmielen saw plenty of action last season and racked up 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. But now that he is the headliner of the defensive line rather than an accessory piece, Umanmielen is going to need to continue to get better.
Like a lot of position groups for the Gators, part of what also drives the importance of Umanmielen is what is behind him on the depth chart. As we highlighted yesterday, Jack Pyburn and true freshman Kelby Collins are the next men up if Umanmielen needs a break.
And while there is a narrative to craft that both of those players could be effective, there will be far more questions asked about the defensive line of the Gators if Umanmielen doesn’t have a monster season.